Logging Truck Driver

Transport and Travel

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

The Logging or Log Truck Driver drives a “long-log truck” to transport logs from remote forest locations to lumber mills.

Truck travels highways as well as unpaved, narrow, winding, steep forest roads. Logs are loaded onto this truck by another log loader machine, located at the forested roadside. FutureGrowthModerate

Haul

The driver operates a purpose-built, heavy log truck—which is an 18-wheel semi tractor with removable trailer with log bunks & racks. The diesel-powered, “long-log” truck and its log trailer are capable of hauling logs up to 80 feet in length, although 42 foot logs are the common load length. The gross vehicle weight load is typically 80,000 lbs, depending on axle configuration. Driver works independently to locate routes, operate the truck on logging roads and highways, and to safely load and deliver logs.

Driver assures that the loaded trailer is within legal weight standards and that the load is safely configured. The driver sits in a climate-controlled cab, but must be out of the cab to conduct load securement, inspections and maintenance. Driver constantly communicates safe loading activities and transport on single-lane logging roads using citizens band (CB) radios. Driver may be responsible for truck basic service, refueling, diagnostics and minor repairs. Requires special safety gear, climbing off & onto the truck. (Source: Pacific Forest Foundation)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Loading logs

  • Drives truck, equipped with long-tongued trailer, to haul logs from forest to mill or storage yard: Maneuvers truck into loading position according to signals
    from loading crew.
  • Fastens chain or cable binders around logs to secure load on trailer during transit.
  • May release binders and start power hoist to dump logs.
  • May assist in loading and unloading logs, using crane hook or cant hook.
  • May raise empty trailer to carrying position on truck bed, using hoist, for deadhead trip to forest.
  • May steer trailer from cab attached to rear end of log trailer and be designated Trailer Steerer. (Source: Career Planner)

Working Conditions

Each driving assignment demands specific skills in operation and safe performance. The operator spends much of their day inside an enclosed climate-controlled truck cab, at the automated controls that direct the truck’s movements.

Pine Harvest

However, the driver is also responsible for the safe and accurate loading, unloading and securement of the truck’s cargo. Some loads are over-dimensional, and require special arrangements, securement, routes and precautions. The driver is typically responsible for their own machine basic service, refueling, diagnostics and minor repairs.  (Source: Pacific Forest Foundation)

With load of logs

Tools and Technologies

Today’s modern trucks are purpose-built with the latest technology, including: on-board electronic scales, computer diagnostics, GPS route finders, ergonomic-designed operator cabs, computer monitors, state-of-the-art diesel power systems, sophisticated transmission and braking, radio/cell dispatching, and CB radio-communication. (Source: Pacific Forest Foundation)

Education and Training

All drivers in these highly-sought jobs receive ample job-tailored safety and drivers training, due to the demanding load conditions and many roadway hazards. Becoming a proficient commercial driver takes a tremendous amount of skill and experience, often learned by working your way up-the-ladder in related jobs and driving smaller trucks or vehicles.

Most truck driving jobs—those hauling over 26,000 lbs gross weight—have a Commercial Drivers License prerequisite and associated requirements, such as drug testing. Some drivers learned their trade by attending a truck driver’s school; others started in entry-level jobs and learned from other experienced drivers. (Source: Pacific Forest Foundation)

Did You Know?


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